When I became a teacher, I knew my life would be bombarded with questions. They say teachers answer hundreds of questions in a day.I hear,
"Mrs. S, can I use the bathroom?"
"Mrs. S, can I call my mom? I forgot my bag for cheer."
"Mrs. S, what do you think of this paragraph? Is this sentence clear?"
"Mrs. S, why do I have to write?"
"Mrs S, what is the definition of culprit?"
"Mrs S, is my DGP for today correct?"
"Mrs S, what's an adverb, again?"
"Mrs. S, do you have lunch money I could borrow? I promise I'll pay you back."
:"Mrs S, can we visit the book fair?"
I would venture to guess I answer at least 100 questions a day, if not more. There's one question I've gotten often this year and I HATE answering it. If you know me well, you know that I don't hate many things in life, but I absolutely HATE saying no to this question.
"Mrs. S, can we have more time to read?"
This year, as we run Reading Workshop in our class, students are allowed to choose their own novels to read. Our goal is to build their reading capacity and show them how important reading is to their academic success. Of course, we still are tied to the Common Core Standards and we teach students strategies to make inferences, analyze theme, and all of the other things they must do. However, we're also instilling in them the beauty and benefits of reading independently. Our system is not perfect, but we're working to get better.
Still, I LOVE that students ask this question. Don't get me wrong, I'm aware of the few students who may ask this question because they feel like they're not "doing" anything; but the joke's on them. They are doing the BEST thing they can do for their academic and social growth. Students need TIME to practice reading to get better and to figure out how reading fits into their lives. I'd venture to say most of our students have read more this year on their own than in the past and it's the coolest thing to watch and listen to.
The other day, I wrapped up our reading time by saying the same thing I always say, "Ok guys, find a good spot to stop." Colby immediately raised his hand with inflection in his voice and shouted, "NO! PLEASE! He's in a coma!!! Just 5 more minutes!" His response made my laugh and I did give them 5 more minutes, but it was in that moment that I realized the good that is happening because of how our Reading classes are run this year.
I hope and pray my students realize that reading is a gift. I think, slowly, it's happening.
How about you? Is reading a big part of your life? How has your reading life changed or stayed stagnant?